Anime Favorites: Penguindrum

Pierre Brown takes a walk down memory lane and revisits a personal favorite, Kunihiko Ikuhara's Penguindrum.

 There’s quite a few apps that keep me connected to anime. Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Amazon, and Funimation all have large amounts of content subbed and dubbed. However, there’s always some random anime I want to see that’s never on those services. Luckily, I found a new anime app called Hi-Dive that’ll let me watch quite a bit for a very small price a month. I decided to experience an old favorite of mine once again, a trippy fantasy series named Penguindrum.
  A fairy tale of dark psychological proportions, Penguindrum is the story of two brothers who’ll do anything to keep their sister alive. Himari Takakura was not expected to live long for she is afflicted with a disease and the gift of a penguin hat given shortly before her death also is connected to her resurrection. Her brothers Shoma and Kanba Takakura are suddenly thrust into a fantasy world where an alternate Himari is a Princess in need of the Penguindrum to stay alive. But what exactly is the Penguindrum and how many lives are connected to it?
  Not seeing this anime for some years certainly feels like I’m watching it again for the first time. But as we all know with favorites, some things you’ll never forget and I could never forget the character Ringo Oginome. Ringo is a high school girl in love with her teacher, Keiju Tabuki. This love seems typical and perhaps even normal for anime standards until things take a turn. One night she devises a plan to break into his home and disguise herself as Yuri Tokikago, Keiju’s fiancé. From then on, Ringo is nearly unstoppable in her efforts to make him love her and sets a bar for the obsessive love troupe that only Yuno Gasai, (Future Diary), has crossed.
Director and co-writer Kunihiko Ikuhara is best known for being attached to beautiful anime series that address large themes within human nature. Obsession, fantasy, love, lies, terrorism, and the yandere character archetype are all present in this two season, 24 episode series. Fans of shows like Revolutionary Girl Utena, Yurikuma Arashi, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and fantasy will find something to love about this series.
  Penguindrum is now streaming on the Hi-Dive phone app in English and Japanese.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Pierre Brown

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